Author Archives

How can Westerners talk about cruelty “over there” without stirring racism?

When I talk about my interest in doing small animal public health and animal welfare work internationally, one topic that regularly comes up is the issue of some Asian cultures eating dogs.  It’s a topic I’ve grown to really dislike, despite my obvious sympathies for the dogs.  From the amount of general public attention the issue gets,Read More »

Trip review: independent vet student volunteering with SOS Kuching and the Sarawak SPCA in Malaysia

The Save Our Strays Kuching team securing a street dog as we request pickup service from a veterinary clinic.   Last summer, I visited Borneo, which had been high on my travel wish list. I couldn’t fly all that way without also seeing what sort of work was being done to help cats and dogs in the region. I spent twoRead More »

Interview with Dr. Valerie Ragan, Director of the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine at VMRCVM

When I was doing research for my list of DVM programs with the best options for students interested in global vet med, the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine was clearly one of the schools at the top. Along with solid offerings in the core curriculum, VMRCVM utilizes “tracking,” where students get to choose a branch of veterinary medicine and focusRead More »

Why no AAVMC guidelines for pre-vet students providing patient care abroad?

In the US, one of the most common — if not the most common reason — for pre-vet students to volunteer internationally is because they want to perform surgery. VIDA is the only company that wink/nod/unofficially sells that opportunity to inexperienced high school and undergraduate students. In the pre-med world, there is a bigger voluntourism industry catering to students’ desires toRead More »

Progress for dogs in the Islamic world

Among “animal people” in the developed world, a lot of time and energy is spent on debating different highly specific visions people have for what a better world would look like for animals.  It’s important to not lose sight of the big picture, though.  Small kindnesses towards animals that we would never even think about in the USRead More »